Monday, December 17, 2007

what's an ekg like in benin?

oh, i'm so glad you asked.

well, i had to lay on a table in a room. there was a divider between me and some man laying on another table, which was a little uncomfortable for me (seeing as you have to take your shirt off), but i just closed my eyes and pretended he wasn't there.

on the table was a long piece of pink paper. if you've traveled to the developing world, you know toilet paper is always hot pink. this was the exact same stuff, only wider.

so i'm laying on this gigantic piece of toilet paper, and a woman puts these colored clamps on my ankles and wrists. green for my left foot, black for my right foot, red for my right hand, yellow for my left hand. then she put these suction cups on my chest... not like what you see on tv in the states... where you basically have tape with little wires coming out... but suction cups (5 or 6 of them) with big blue bulbs on top and thick wires coming out. i basically looked like i had been abducted by aliens. the wires were hanging off a big wooden post. anyway... they pressed a button, i heard two beeps, and it was over in 1 minute. whew! i didn't know what to expect, so i was just glad it didn't shock me.

this whole time i was actually kinda scared, and really wanted to cry, but i've been unable to cry in months, so i seemed much braver than i actually was.

then i went into the doctor's office with my friend kim (brian and kim were SO awesome to go with me!) and he checked a few more things, asked me a few questions, and gave me a clean bill of health! he said my recent chest pains are likely just anxiety, and that i should either lighten up or go home. me? lighten up? does he expect me to float? oh well. i'm going back for a check up in a month.

brian and kim took me out for a cup of tea afterward. and now it's back to my day! running errands, setting up my kitchen, and teaching tonight!

in lighter news, the english fellowship crowd had a wonderful time singing Christmas carols and eating Christmas cookies yesterday. in true lau fashion, i sang the descant so loudly on every song, no one near me could sing the melody. such fun.

still working on my description of travels north... stay tuned...

3 comments:

Susan said...

Glad to hear you are ok. Dreamed I visited you in Benin last night! That would be fun.

Rob Baker said...

Hey - join the club! I've had to ECG's (as we call them in Her Majesty's country) in Benin. Mine first one was possibly due to Lariam, but also the climate and (yes) stress. Caffeine and alcohol didn't help either (so no Red Bulls!!!) and I was given magnesium tablets, which seemed to help (and which I'm taking regularly right now as this has happened the past two Decembers here!)

Bon courage,

Rob

PS Visit my blog for a fun song, which turns into one which you (and Shiloh) know very well...

bessjankowski said...

I can't believe the wires are *actually* red, yellow, green, and black. You'd think they could at least use soothing pastels or something. Glad you're okay!